Developing ideas for a B2B brand film

Don’t you dare skip straight to this lesson! Without completing lessons 1–4, you’ll have a much harder time coming up with a brilliant idea for your brand film.

Hello to those of you who completed the lessons in order. In this lesson, you will learn several tried and true techniques for coming up with ideas for a B2B brand film.

Techniques covered include:

  • Analogies and personification
  • Align with your customer’s mission
  • The hero’s journey
  • Make your core message the punchline

Download the course packet below for all materials referenced throughout the course.

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Welcome back to our final chapter in how to tell your B2B brand story with video. This is where we come up with your awesome idea and then write a script and do storyboards. And like I said in the beginning, you’ll have a blueprint that you can then give to an outside video production vendor or even your internal team.

Now, I wanna talk to those of you who have skipped to this chapter. And think they can just go ahead and get some tricks to come up with a cool idea. And I really would say that you’re making a grave mistake that will have many repercussions.

No, honestly here’s how I’ll sum it up is that by not going through the strategy steps we just went through, your search area mentally for a creative idea is too big. It’s like when the Coast Guard has a search area of 15,000 square miles versus 20 square miles. Try to subtract possibilities, eliminate possibilities. It makes the idea process a lot easier.

And for those of you who have gone through the previous chapters, congratulations and I guarantee you have at least one or two creative ideas just popping out. That’s great, most likely those are your ideas.

But if you don’t have ideas that’s okay. Because what I’m gonna do in this chapter is give you some tricks we use, some thought-starters, some paths you can go down, this isn’t inclusive of every possible way to generate an idea. But a lot of times when we’re stuck I’ll use these little tricks that am about to teach you.

First thing to understand, as Seth Godin says, Seth Godin says, I have no original ideas, I have only original combinations. And I agree with that. There really aren’t any original ideas. It’s all about becoming a student of the environment so that then you can notice patterns and put two and two together, right?

So my first tip is start watching content just be a student of other brand films of marketing. I recommend the Vimeo Staff Picks channel. If you can get a subscription to Adweek or Ad Age. I’m a subscriber to Adweek and they’ll every day they send spots that are really cool and inventive. Vimeo Staff Picks like I said, we’ll show you like the latest and greatest videos and kind of modern technique and will give you a bunch of ideas. I recommend even going on Twitter and subscribing to HubSpot, Ads of the World.

Make a bookmark folder and over the course of the weeks that you’re working on this. You’re gonna notice you’re gonna start building up a repository of really cool videos. And what you wanna do is see how you can combine them to make an original idea that would be relatable to your target audience. So, first tip I have is just be a student of what’s out there.

Now we’ll get into some specific idea generators. And the first I have is the analogy generator. And the analogy generator you can actually download this PDF with instructions from our website. But an analogy is a great way to get an idea across and odds are your salespeople are using them anyway right now. And a lot of times the analogy itself can be the brand film.

So an example could be our IT service is like having a personal shopper for your IT, right? And your brand film could be potentially a, you know, a comedic thing of, imagine having a personal shopper and you put two and two together. So the analogy can be used to simplify your message and also visually explain what you do to your audience.

Another trick is to take out your core message and make the core message, the punchline to your video. So for most of the video you want to be posing questions and curiosity that the core, your core message is the answer to.

There’s a great example. There’s this Palms Casino spot that I love, where the entire spot is people destroying Palms Casino Hotel. It’s like people lighting fires with Molotov cocktails in the kitchen and destroying hotel rooms. And that whole spot you’re like, what the heck are they, Is this a commercial where Palms wants you to come and destroy their place? If so, sign me up. No, at the end they say, destroy the old embrace the new Palms Casino from dust to gold. And basically it’s a really awesome unique way of saying we’re renovating the place. But instead of being just very obvious Palms Casino we’re renovating.

This is a great way to rope the audience into wanting to find out what the heck this thing is about. So a lot of times if there’s so much mystery, well, what is this about? And someone becomes almost like active in the discovery. And then when you have a really good punchline, and by the way, if that punchline is your core message, boom is that effective.

Another one I have is the hero’s journey. And again, this one comes from StoryBrand where it’s tell the story of your customer with them being the hero of the journey and your company being the guide. So your customer is Luke and you are Yoda and you lead them on an adventure to solve their problems. ‘Cause in the end your company is not the hero of the story. Your customer is the hero of their story.

Another way to go is personification. And we have a spot where a command center of people is their dynamic supply chain fulfillment AI. You know, everything’s taking place in a server so you can’t just film the server. You know, so it’s usually these kind of abstract thoughts. Maytag also does this. Maytag will, you know, use a man instead of their machine. If you have something that’s maybe on the ephemeral side or maybe just the abstract side, a lot of times with like IOT or analytics and stuff like that there’s no thing, right? Sometimes personification can really help you. And also analogies can help you in that case too.

Finally, there’s another trick. And this is kind of up the Apple alley. Apple likes to do this where your brand film is actually doesn’t really say anything about your product. What you do is you illustrate your customer’s life. You align with their mission. Let’s just say you sold veterinary products to veterinarians instead of your brand film being about how great your products are and how awesome you are, and yada yada, yada. What you do is you can make a two minute film about a vet Who wakes up early and you know, does surgery on this dog. And like it’s a hard day in their life. And then at the end of the spot, it’s your logo. And it says, you know, because we’re one of you or something like that.

And that’s really what you’re trying to do with this trick is by illustrating your customer’s life and keeping your product out of it, besides a logo at the end. We’re basically, we’re essentially saying we are one of you. We relate to you. Like we, we know you so well that we can paint this really memorable and very personal story of your life. We understand you. We get you. That’s why you should use us.